Independence Day in Zimbabwe

Observed annually on April 18th, Zimbabwean Independence Day is a holiday that commemorates the country’s independence from the UK on this day in 1980. It’s a day when Zimbabweans can not only celebrate their freedom but also reaffirm their commitment to liberty and self-rule.

It’s also a day when the country can set its sights on other goals, such as fulfilling its dream of becoming a middle-income economy by 2030—a goal known as Vision 2030. This holiday is celebrated at both the national and district levels. On this day, the President of Zimbabwe delivers a speech on the importance of the day, and there’s an official ceremony centered around music and other special events.

The History of Zimbabwean Independence Day

During the 15th century, the Portuguese arrived on Africa’s east coast and worked towards opening up the interior of the continent. António Fernandes was the first European to enter the area that is now Zimbabwe.

The area wouldn’t be officially colonized, however, until Cecil Rhodes formed the British South Africa Company in 1889. The area would become known as Southern Rhodesia, in honor of Cecil Rhodes, and was governed by the British South Africa Company until 1922. In 1922, the European settlers voted to become a British territory.

Thirty-one years later, Britain would create the Central African Federation—a conglomerate of countries that included Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland. In 1964, the Federation broke up, and both Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) and Malawi (Nyasaland) achieved independence. On April 18, 1980, Zimbabwe declared its independence.

Observing Zimbabwean Independence Day

This holiday is observed in Zimbabwe with political speeches by politicians, including one from the President of the country. It’s also celebrated with various parades, open-air markets, and other special events.

People can also expect to see musical performances and soccer exhibitions. Finally, there are plenty of food stalls set up for Zimbabweans to enjoy as they celebrate their independence.

Where is it celebrated?
Zimbabwe (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 18 Thursday
Next year (2025)
April 18 Friday
Last year (2023)
April 18 Tuesday